The European Commission aims to assure a high level of food safety and animal & plant health within the EU through coherent Farm to Fork measures and adequate monitoring, while ensuring an effective internal market.
The implementation of this integrated Food Safety policy in the EU involves various actions, namely:
- to assure effective control systems and evaluate compliance with EU standards in the food safety and quality, animal health, animal welfare, animal nutrition and plant health sectors within the EU and in non-EU countries in relation to their exports to the EU;
- to manage international relations with non-EU countries and international organisations concerning food safety, animal health, animal welfare, animal nutrition and plant health;
- to manage relations with the European Food Safety Authority (EFSA) and ensure science-based risk management.
The integrated approach to food safety is covered by the following web sections:
Every European citizen has the right to know how the food they eat is produced, processed, packaged, labelled and sold.
The central goal of the European Commission's Food Safety policy is to ensure a high level of protection of human health regarding the food industry — Europe’s largest manufacturing and employment sector.
The Commission's guiding principle, primarily set out in its White Paper on Food Safety, is to apply an integrated approach from farm to fork covering all sectors of the food chain.
The objective of the Animal Health policy is to raise the health status and improve the conditions of the animals in the EU, in particular food-producing animals, whilst permitting intra-Community trade and imports of animals and animal products in accordance with the appropriate health standards and international obligations.
The general aim of the Animal Welfare policy is to ensure that animals don’t need to endure avoidable pain or suffering and obliges the owner/keeper of animals to respect minimum welfare requirements.
The EU zootechnical legislation aims at the promotion of free trade in breeding animals and their genetic material considering the sustainability of breeding programs and preservation of genetic resources.
The European Commission takes actively part in the setting of international phytosanitary and quality standards for plants and plant products.
EU legislation has, over the years, provided for the harmonised protection of our 'green resources'. Issues like pesticides, plant variety rights or Genetically Modified Organisms are some of the topics you will find in this section.
Horizontal topics related to Food Safety
A selection of topics that span across more than one of the main pillars of the Directorate-General for Health and Food Safety (DG SANTE).
Animal Health: EFSA launch African Swine Fever awareness campaign
African swine fever (ASF) is a disease that affects domestic and wild pigs. Although harmless to humans, it can be deadly for pigs and has serious socio-economic consequences for affected countries. It has spread across Europe and worldwide.
EU-US agreement on GMP inspections brings high quality medicines faster to animals
In today's EU-US Trade and Technology Council, the US and the EU reached an agreement to mutually recognise the results of pharmaceutical Good Manufacturing Practices (GMP) inspections for veterinary products.
Animal welfare: EFSA publish opinions on welfare of ducks, geese and quails, and dairy cows
Dairy cows, ducks, geese and quail need more space and improved housing according to animal welfare recommendations published today in two new scientific opinions by the European Food Safety Authority (EFSA).
Food sustainability: EFSA’s Scientific Colloquium 27 “Cell culture-derived foods and food ingredients”
The event was intended for all stakeholders interested or involved in the risk assessment of cell culture-derived foods and food ingredients.
Food sustainability: EFSA publish update of the Bee Guidance Document
The European Food Safety Authority (EFSA) has reviewed its guidance document on how to assess risks to honey bees, bumble bees and solitary bees from plant protection products.
Open Consultation: Oilseed rape MS8, RF3, MS8 × RF3
EFSA published a new opinion on genetically modified oilseed rape for food and feed uses on 26 April 2023. In accordance with Regulation (EC) No 1829/2003 on genetically modified food and feed, the public may make comments on this opinion during 1 month.
Pesticides: EFSA publishes annual report on pesticides’ residues in food products
EFSA’s latest report on pesticide residues in food in the European Union is now available. It gives a snapshot of the residue levels found in a selection of commonly consumed products.
Food: Agriculture Ministers review impact of imports from Ukraine via solidarity lanes
Following an exchange of views, the Council approved conclusions on the opportunities provided by the bioeconomy in the light of current challenges, with a focus on rural areas
Open Consultation: Maize MIR162, maize MON 89034 × 1507 × MIR162 × NK603 × DAS-40278-9 and subcombinations
EFSA published a statement on the risk assessment of additional information on maize MIR162 on 17 April 2023. In accordance with Regulation (EC) No 1829/2003 on genetically modified food and feed, the public may make comments on this opinion during 1 month.